Keeping your files well organised allows you to locate your research data easily. It also prevents confusion when working with different versions of files, and makes it easier to see which data are (still) missing or which file was stored unnecessarily in more copies.
If you organise your files into categories, you can give each category its own folder. Possible categories are:
If you are consistent in the way you name your files, your files are easily sorted. Possible options:
Different versions of files may be distinguished by means of a version number in the file name, preceded by a small v. Normally, a dot is used in version numbers (v1.0). In order to prevent confusion with the file extension, it is recommended to use an underscore (v1_0, v1_5, v2_0).
If you save the same content in different file formats, give the files the same name and the same version number, regardless of the file format: e.g. BrownM_transcript_v1_0.docs, BrownM_transcript_v1_0.pdf.
To be able to see the contents of each folder at a glance, it is advisable to limit the file names to ca 25 characters. In order to keep file names concise, it may be necessary to use abbreviations in file names. Keep a list of these abbreviations in a separate text file which you store with your research data.
Avoid the use of spaces, dots and special characters in file names. The characters may cause difficulties when you share a file via the web. Use an underscore instead of a space.
By means of software you can simply rename a large number of files in a single go.